How To Talk With Your Doctor About Bladder Leaks
by Gary Sattin on Sep 26, 2022
People shouldn’t feel embarrassed about incontinence issues. Millions of individuals suffer from ailments, so there’s no reason to feel ashamed. You especially shouldn’t feel bad about speaking with your doctor. These professionals want to help you get better, so you must be as transparent with them as possible. Follow this guide on how to talk with your doctor about bladder leaks if you’re worried about getting started.
Be Open About Symptoms
The number one thing to keep in mind when speaking with physicians is honesty. Don’t try to make the symptoms seem less significant than they are to save face. Remember, these people are here to help, and the only way they can do that is if they know the full truth.
So, talk about your symptoms in particular. Do you experience leaks when you’re stressed out? Or do they happen more frequently during the night? Also, be honest about how long you’ve dealt with these problems. The more information your doctor has, the better they can support you on your road to recovery and confidence.
The more prepared you are for this conversation, the better. Bring a list of questions with you so that you can rest assured knowing everything’s been answered when you leave. Here are a few must-know questions to ask the doc at the appointment:
- How common is it for men and women to have these issues?
- How many times should one urinate throughout the day?
- Should you be drinking more or less water to help lessen symptoms?
- What can you expect from treatments? Will this condition ever totally go away?
How Is It Impacting Your Life?
You also need to be honest about how your incontinence affects your life. Again, don’t minimize the severity of your symptoms. Tell your physician if you’re afraid to leave the house because of your bladder leaks. Let them know how this is impacting your work/life balance, as well. Many folks with incontinence struggle to concentrate at work because they’re worried about making it to the restroom in time.
Hopefully, your doctor will recommend adult incontinence products when they hear these symptoms. Aside from recommending exercises and medication, your physician should also tell you about products that’ll make your life easier. TotalDry offers maxi pads that are discreet yet supportive, allowing you to feel comfortable and secure throughout the day and night.
Another thing you should tell your doctor about is your lifestyle choices. Below are a few bladder irritants that may make your symptoms more extreme:
- Caffeine: Stay away from things like coffee, chocolate, and soda if you have incontinence.
- Alcohol: Alcohol irritates your bladder by making it think it needs to be emptied more often than necessary.
- Spicy Foods: Spicy foods can also trigger symptoms of incontinence and cause you to drink more water, meaning you’ll have to use the bathroom more often.
Pro Tip: Your doctor will likely recommend dietary and lifestyle changes. For this reason, you must be committed to making the necessary adjustments.
Trouble With Bowel Movements
Constipation puts extra pressure on the bladder. As a result, you need to tell your doctor if you’re having infrequent bowel movements. Secondly, bowel movements and urinary problems are often interconnected. So, speak up if you’re leaking stool and urine so your doctor can recommend the right treatment.
It’s one thing for a doctor to say that you should never be ashamed of your incontinence; getting you to believe that statement is an entirely different beast. In order to receive the best treatment possible, you must be ready to have an awkward conversation. Again, honesty plays a huge part in this. These experts are trying to help you get back to normal life. Therefore, you should never hide anything from them.
Hopefully, doctors will use soft language that makes the discussion a little easier. Perhaps they’ll use language like, “going to the restroom more often” instead of referring specifically to bladder leaks. Remember, this is a two-way conversation. So, you need to speak up if there’s anything you’re uncomfortable discussing.
Bring a Sample
Now, it’s challenging to use the bathroom on-demand. This is especially true for those who are already experiencing problems. So, you should bring a urine sample with you to your appointment to ensure experts are able to run the necessary tests. Be sure to collect a sample before the day of the appointment to ensure everything’s up to par. Also, handle the sample with sanitary gloves to avoid contaminating the sample while also maintaining your own safety and hygiene.
Get a Second Opinion
You’re probably thinking that it’s hard enough to have this talk once, let alone twice. However, a tip on how to talk to your doctor about bladder leaks is to get a second opinion. The reality is that some physicians are better suited for treating certain conditions than others. For example, a previous blog post discussed the reasons why women should see a urogynecologist. Women are more likely to experience bladder leaks than their male counterparts. Consequently, it may be beneficial to see a specialist to figure out what’s happening with your body.
Many people aren’t completely honest with their doctors because they’re embarrassed about the conditions they’re experiencing. This statement applies to those with incontinence more than most. However, there’s no reason to feel shame about these problems because millions of individuals experience the same thing. If that doesn’t give you the confidence you need to have “the talk,” then, hopefully, these tips will make it easier.
It’s fairly likely that physicians will recommend that you wear adult incontinence products. Luckily, these materials aren’t what they used to be. TotalDry, for example, focuses on keeping things discreet. No one will be able to tell that your garments are different from others on the shelves. We also sell products such as waterproof sheets for individuals who experience incontinence during the night.
Our primary goal is to remind you that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. We want to remove the stigma around incontinence and show you that you can lead a full life despite the condition. However, this process starts by having a conversation with your doctor and being honest about your needs. Remember, no one’s going to judge you for having bladder leaks because the issue is more common than most people realize.